The Guide

The Guide R K Narayan is unusual among Indian authors writing in English in that he has stayed contentedly in his home country venturing abroad only rarely He rarely addresses political issues or tri

R.K Narayan 1906 2001 is unusual among Indian authors writing in English in that he has stayed contentedly in his home country, venturing abroad only rarely He rarely addresses political issues or tries to explore the cutting edge of fiction He is a traditional teller of tales, a creator of realist fiction which is often gentle, humorous, and warm rather than hard hitR.K Narayan 1906 2001 is unusual among Indian authors writing in English in that he has stayed contentedly in his home country, venturing abroad only rarely He rarely addresses political issues or tries to explore the cutting edge of fiction He is a traditional teller of tales, a creator of realist fiction which is often gentle, humorous, and warm rather than hard hitting or profound Almost all of his writings are set in the fictional city of Malgudi, and are narrowly focused on the lives of relatively humble individuals, neither extremely poor nor very rich.The Guide is one of his most interesting books, which begins as a comic look at the life of a rogue, but evolves into something quite different It should be noted that Narayan is not a devout Hindu, and has accused Westerners of wrongly supposing that all Indians are deeply spiritual beings but it is also true that he was deeply impressed by some experiences he had with a medium after the sudden death of his young wife described movingly in The English Teacher 1945.Narayan has stated that the incident of the reluctant holy man was based on a real event which he read about in the newspaper.Formerly India s most corrupt tourist guide, Raju just released from prison seeks refuge in an abandoned temple Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju s newfound sanctity to the test Narayan s most celebr

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The Guide

  1. R K Narayan is among the best known and most widely read Indian novelists who wrote in English.R.K Narayan was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja s College in Mysore His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there In 1958 Narayan s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country s highest literary honor In addition to his novels, Narayan has authored five collections of short stories, including A Horse and Two Goats, Malguidi Days, and Under the Banyan Tree, two travel books, two volumes of essays, a volume of memoirs, and the re told legends Gods, Demons and Others, The Ramayana, and the Mahabharata In 1980 he was awarded the A.C Benson Medal by the Royal Society of Literature and in 1982 he was made an Honorary Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Most of Narayan s work, starting with his first novel Swami and Friends 1935 , captures many Indian traits while retaining a unique identity of its own He was sometimes compared to the American writer William Faulkner, whose novels were also grounded in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of ordinary life.Narayan who lived till age of ninety four, died in 2001 He wrote for than fifty years, and published until he was eighty seven He wrote fourteen novels, five volumes of short stories, a number of travelogues and collections of non fiction, condensed versions of Indian epics in English, and the memoir My Days.

428 Reply to “The Guide”

  1. First book of 2014.Narayan s The Guide is a good story about a man who is a tourist guide who does his absolute best to please his customers honestly or dishonestly, as is the nature of tourist guides everywhere But he is brought low by romance and becomes a bit of a rogue I don t want to spoil the story by writing out the plot but eventually, from the absolute depths a man can sink to, he rises on the back of being thought a holy man His innate moral sense overrides his desire for an easier lif [...]

  2. Those of you who think that Indian novels are always about sadness and despair of poor people, must think again This book, The Guide by R K Narayan is funny Unlike let s say, The God of Small Things or The Inheritance of Loss, this book will not make you squirt some tears from your eyes Rather, when you close the book, you ll be happy yet mesmerized by its beauty It s beauty is not really in the narration or innovative storytelling The novel s beauty is its ability to show you the traditional In [...]

  3. My friend Jim Earl recently wrote an excellent article entitled How to Read the Indian Novel This article was the culmination of reading sixty Indian novels over a fairly short period of time His favorite Indian novelist of the many he read is R.K Narayan So I picked up Narayan s The Guide and read it with some words from Jim ringing in my ears Narayan always seems simple and easy to read, but he leaves one with much to ponder Yes indeed Raju, the central character in this novel, is a guide in s [...]

  4. Just quoting from the song written by Shailendra for the movie, sung by none other the great S.D Burmanhte hain gyaani,duniyaa hai faanipaani pe likhi likhaayihai sabki dekhi,hai sabki jaanihaath kisike na aayikuchh tera naa mera,musafir jaayega kahaandam lele ghadi bhar,ye chhaiyyaan,payega kahaanwahaan kaun hai tera O traveller where will you goLearned people say,this world is a mirageeverything is written on waterit is seen by all, it is experienced by allbut no one has understood itnothing i [...]

  5. it has truly been described as a pensive comedy this is the story of Raju, an ordinary middle class man in South India, who vicariously rose to the height of fame, had a plunging fall, then again rose up like the phoenix to become a swamiji, a demi god More than Raju, I sympathize with Rosy, the dreamy eyed girl, whose only passion was dance, for which she had to suffer Her husband left her, she took up with Raju, but then Raju soon became somewhat like a mercenary feeding upon her income To the [...]

  6. bbc programmes b06l36xyDescription Raju s first stop after his release from prison is the barber s shop Then he decides to take refuge in an abandoned temple Raju used to be India s most corrupt tourist guide but now a peasant mistakes him for a holy man Gradually, he begins to play the part.It is written on the brow of someThat they shall never be left in peaceRaju seems to be somewhat Zelig in nature, becoming anything at a pitch of a hat.His Holy Man routine becomes ever believable.

  7. From life on the earth to the Karmic theories of purgatory from real life details to the world of Gods from sin to atonement this book, The Guide, by R K Narayan will take you to new dimensions of readership Perhaps one of the greatest novels Indian authors writing in English have produced, this book is a classic in the sense it s always there Today also, you can find the novel s relevance in the society Plot, theme, plot movement, language everything about the novel is perfect and you get this [...]

  8. The Guide by R.K Narayan is an excellent example that how beautiful and intriguing simplicity can be Mr Narayan wrote the novel with sheer simplicity of language and expression Even with simplicity which is the power of the novel the story is deep and touches the inner recesses of human nature The story is about how a being makes himself and destroys himself , but in midst of this creation and destruction the changes which takes place in a person are important I think through Raju , Mr Narayan [...]

  9. This is the first of Narayan s novels that I ve read, and I was bothered by it in the same way I m always bothered by stories that sacrifice psychological verisimilitude for the sake of plot Raju, the main character, begins the book as an unethical, opportunistic, but essentially likable fellow as the story goes on he transforms first into a money grubbing, misogynistic, self serving asshole, and then into some semblance of a holy man I don t have a problem with characters undergoing changes, bu [...]

  10. The Guide is set up as a frame story, beginning with our protagonist, Raju, turning up at an abandoned temple after being released from prison Basically, he s squatting, but a local person named Velan comes to ask Raju to help him solve a problem with his willful daughter Raju keeps feeding Velan statements of profound nonsense, but when Velan s daughter comes around, word spreads about Raju s holy nature When a drought hits, Raju offers one of his statements, which is interpreted around the cou [...]

  11. This is a very moving story of greed, illicit relationship, chasing you dreams, destiny taking you to unimaginable, power of faith, superstition, luck and finally divinity.My first introduction to RK Narayan was through TV serials Swami and Malgudi days I was a kid so i liked Swami very much which was about the antics of a young boy and his friends The stories of Malgudi days were a bit mature and found them boring at that time Today in hindsight i see that they have great psychological depth, b [...]

  12. Hmm What do i say about a book that i just finished last night and which has been growing on me since theno early to say anything yeah, maybe but if i delay, i won t be able to pen down this mini review of sorts R.K Narayan writes in the simplest of English, a bildungsroman of sorts of a man named Raju Actually, weaves would be a better word instead of writes, because the book is actually a tapestary of Raju s life and that of other major and minor characters, Velan, Rosie, Marco whose temperame [...]

  13. I didn t really put much thought into what kind of story this would be, but now that I have completed it, let me just say it went beyond my expectations R K Narayan has a flair for storytelling.I ve been reading a lot of books which move back and forth in time, and The Guide is one which does so brilliantly The narration of the past is told in relevance to what is happening in the present, and written in a consistent manner too, making it easy for readers to follow.I think the best thing about T [...]

  14. The writing is quite spare and there is little description of the backdrop of the novel, apart from what is necessary.The Guide is about Raju, who tells his story in the present and past He has been in prison and has taken refuge in an empty temple by a river The locals begin to believe he is a holy man Interspersed is the story of Raju s past, his childhood, his time as a tourist guide Then his affair with a married woman and its consequences Raju is a rogue who is often self serving, but has s [...]

  15. The Guide is the story of transformation of the protagonist, Raju from a simple tour guide to a great spiritual guide Starting as a tourist guide in the small village of Malgudi, Raju often known as Railway Raju, leads a very simple life with his widowed mother However the entrance of Rosie and her husband, Marco, brings about a turmoil in all of their lives Rosie aspires to be a famous dancer while Marco is focussed towards his career and totally apathetic towards Rosie and her dancing dreams [...]

  16. I thought I would just say guys, read and make your own judgement but thought better of it Typical RKN s writing decent, simplistic, with subtle humor This is kind of the most respected of his novels On that score, it left me a little disappointed I actually didn t get the point of the novel Probably the point he was making is there is no point Life has to be lived and you can t do nothing about most things It is not as bad as you think or it is not as good as you believe I could totally relate [...]

  17. The book feels like it was written by Joseph Conrad, who I am a big fan of The style is also that of 19th century English, a bit old like King James Bible style of English, too formal in such a way that reflects the Indian Spirit All that was compensated for by the author s wit and charming spirit and sense of humor I mean, this is a lively book and it is fun for me to read and I can read it over and over again and find it amusing The trouble is, English is my second language and I do care about [...]

  18. The Guide is the story of Raju and his journey through life mostly his days in the fictional town of Malgudi immortalized by R K Narayan in so many ways Raju is a young child who dislikes school, holds most people around in slight disdain and is yet inventive enough to take whatever opportunity life offers him and he does snatch at most of these and make the best out of it hook or by crook The boy and eventually the man that Raju becomes is unabashedly self absorbed, almost shameless in the way [...]

  19. I had such nice time reading this novel I have entered the life of characters and I could experience them in their moments I believe Raju was quite reflective in his narration of his momentary experiences about his life Of course, R.K Narayan creates characters which have depth to look within and make sense of their experiences and circumstances.I another book by same author, BA Pass, there is part where character becomes sage by default In this novel, author again experiments with the origin an [...]

  20. I have read Malgudi days by R.K Narayan before and I always liked his style of writing and his unique quality of putting most complex of emotions in simplest and concise manner.Like his other works, Guide also jumps around Indian culture, beliefs, socioeconomic structure, and human nature, which is not particular to any country or group of people I don t know how can he portray such arcane concepts of very varied and convoluted topic that Indian culture is, in such simple and appealing fashion I [...]

  21. It s easy to read, but difficult to understand says Michael Gorra in his foreword And i agree with him a hundred percent There are so many interpretations possible from this one Some may like Raju, some may not Some may like Rosie, some may not Some may like Marco, some may not My review It s a self deprecatory repentant narrative by Raju as told to Velan after he s released from prison earlier convicted for forgery Am trying to forget the first person narrative by Raju and look at the story fro [...]

  22. It was only when I felt the urgency to seat for my exam I began to read this novel without having any inherent interest and prior acquaintance with RK Narayan s style or narrative technique As I proceeded, I found Raju of a typical rural Indian boy ,playing and cavorting around with gaily spirit , and less of a man who knows only to beguile everyone with acute eloquence and amicable manner His emerging from the shopkeeper to tourist guide ,his seduction of the wife of Macrow ,then his subsequen [...]

  23. Brilliant stuff Very different from the usual R.K.Narayan s books For it leaves much to the reader s imagination Have been a big fan of Narayan for the simplicity of his narration and simple stories But can t say the same things for him now though I m a slightly bigger fan now Was going with 3.5 till the penultimate chapter, going for 4 for the epic anti conclusion

  24. From BBC Radio 4 Extra Railway Raju is famous for helping tourists above and beyond the call of duty until Rosie arrives Stars Nitin Ganatrac programmes b06l36xy

  25. Unfortunately I had t read none of R K Narayan books for some unknown reason call it availability as they are still not available in stores not talking about online stores Which better book to start but with The Guide , on which a timeless cult classic movie was made which I believe was a super success I have already seen it multiple times and the visuals are pretty much intact in my brain with those lavish locations where Rosie Waheeda Rehman dances to the tunes of the official Guide Raju, terr [...]

  26. I absolutely despised all the main characters R K Narayan is nothing short of a genius What a bunch of people he had created in this comedy tragedy It was a quick and an engaging read I d read this first when I was a lot younger, and I remember not understanding most of it I had thought of Raju as a fool, Rosie as a manipulative and an equally gullible woman, Marco as an extremely harsh man.While not most of these views have changed, I have to acknowledge that these characters cannot be put into [...]

  27. Mr Narayan brings out the fondest memories of good old days How one can bring such a change onto oneself is what makes this book one of it s kind Humans, tend to bring out the worst and best in them as per their circumstances and vice versa stands true as well Intricacies of Nalini s mind leaves you completely surprised leading to the stage of being annoyed too Raju being the simple and devoted son transforms to someone who has lost the touch of his old self since the time his mother leaves him [...]

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